What is a Disclaimer Deed?

A Disclaimer Deed can be one person’s best friend and another’s enemy.  If you are asked to sign a Disclaimer Deed proceed with caution.  If you are told “it’s not a big deal” -think again!

If you’re the one signing a Disclaimer Deed to real property here’s the deal:  You affirmatively state that you have NO interest in the real property and NEVER had an interest in the real property.

SCENARIO:  You are asked to sign a Disclaimer Deed; everything is amicable, you love your spouse so you sign it.  Years later you find yourself going through a divorce and you expect some return on all of the mortgage payments made to the marital home.  While there is a community lien that exists the house belongs to the other spouse, period.  A community lien is governed by case law, such as Drahos v. Ren, and is NOT the same as an equal division of the equity that may exist.

On the other hand, if you have a pre-nuptial agreement or in other circumstances a Disclaimer Deed can really reduce contested issues in a divorce or legal separation.

Bottom line:  Seek independent legal advice when and if you are faced with this issue.  The maxim “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more true!!  Think of paying an Arizona licensed attorney for an hour of their time to explain this to you and think of this as an investment for your future or similar to an insurance policy – “just in case”.

For more information please call Enholm Law, PLLC at 602-889-6273.